Facing any interview is a nerve-wrecking experience for most people particularly when you are interviewing for a job that you really want to get.
Regardless of the outcome, attending interviews is a great learning curve and you will definitely get better at them with experience. By preparing well for each interview, putting in the best effort possible in terms of performance, doing some post-interview analysis and seeking feedback you will greatly improve on your interview techniques and your chance of getting your dream job. Although the setting is very different for virtual interviews, for example via Skype or Zoom, the general guiding principles are the same. Be confident in yourself – you have gotten to interview stage, now you just need to show the employer that you are the person for the job!
Before the interview
As mentioned in the previous article be clear on the type of interview you are attending, know what is in store. Know your CV or application form well, the interviewers will be looking for you to expand further on the important aspects so make sure you can stand over and give plenty evidence of all the details you have included about yourself, your work experience and education. Know the job specification and description well so that all the answers you give reflect how well your skills and qualities suit the role and company.
Research the company by checking out their website and their social media. Pay particular attention to LinkedIn for information on the company and employees and search the media for any recent articles on how the company is performing, any new products they have launched or awards they have received and keep an eye out for any links they have to community, environmental or social responsibility initiatives. Talk to anyone you know who works with the company or organisation. Find out as much as you possibly can. Prepare and practice question out loud (see suggestions below), record yourself on your phone and listen back.
Dress appropriately depending on the level of the position and the working environment. You may not need a suit but you certainly need to look smart and professional. Arrive in plenty of time and give yourself enough head space to be ready to perform well. Nerves are perfectly normal and in fact help to keep you alert and focused. They usually subside after the first couple of minutes once you settle into the atmosphere of the interview room. Get some fresh air before you go in, it helps to clear your head and settle the nerves. Use breathing exercises to relax if needed. When introduced to the interview board greet each one individually with a nod and a smile – no handshakes due to COVID-19.
During the interview
Focus on and try to maintain eye contact with the interviewer who has asked the question. Generally interviewers will start by asking you to tell them about yourself. This is to settle you in. Prepare this in advance so that you don’t waffle on and concentrate on the important things they need to know about you professionally – your experience, education, key skills and qualities – but keep it brief! The wording of other questions varies but essentially all employers want to know why you want to work for them, why you applied for the job, what key skills, qualities and competencies you have that make you suitable for the job and what makes you stand out from other applicants, basically why they should hire you.
Prepare these answers in advance by looking closely at the job specification and highlighting the keywords. Use them in your answers. When answering, try to keep a structure on your answer particularly when asked for evidence of your skills and competencies such as teamwork, problem-solving, effective communication. Use the STAR format – Describe the Situation (background or context), the Task (give specifics), the Actions you took (use ‘I’ statements) and the Result (include what you learned from it).
Make sure you get the opportunity to give them your Unique Selling Point (USP) - what makes you stand out from others, and don’t be shy about talking positively about yourself professionally. It can be effective to use this at the end if they ask you if you have anything to add.
After the interview
Breathe a sigh of relief and congratulate yourself on getting through it! Jot down all the questions you were asked or as many as you can remember and make note of what you felt you did well in and areas for improvement in future interviews. Relax and wait for a result.
Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore & PRO of Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She can be contacted on email@example.com
Local soprano releases new single
Local soprano Mary Culloty O’Sullivan has released her second self-penned single. Following the success of her debut song ‘Forever and a Day’ which was released on July 16 and was aired on radio stations all over the world and on streaming platforms like Spotify, YouTube and iTunes, her second single was released last Friday. ‘Before […]
Local soprano Mary Culloty O’Sullivan has released her second self-penned single.
Following the success of her debut song ‘Forever and a Day’ which was released on July 16 and was aired on radio stations all over the world and on streaming platforms like Spotify, YouTube and iTunes, her second single was released last Friday.
‘Before You Leave Me’ has a Jazz influence. Mary has been writing her own songs since March this year covering several different genres.
“Tony O’Flaherty of Sonas Studios has brought my songs to life and I am delighted with the production on the songs,” Mary told the Killarney Advertiser.
Fun Urban Orienteering event coming to Killarney town
The event is free, open to all ages, levels of fitness and is both wheelchair and buggy friendly.Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership are calling on you, to get out and #BeActive as part of European Week of Sport 2021, which runs from September 23 to 30. Sport Ireland, the national coordinating body for European Week of Sport in […]
The event is free, open to all ages, levels of fitness and is both wheelchair and buggy friendly.
Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership are calling on you, to get out and #BeActive as part of European Week of Sport 2021, which runs from September 23 to 30.
Sport Ireland, the national coordinating body for European Week of Sport in Ireland hope that this year’s event will inspire even more people than previous years and has funded multiple flagship as well as local events run by the Network of Local Sports Partnerships, including this ‘Family Street Orienteering Kerry’ event.
“This free event looks to offer everyone an opportunity the get out and be active and maybe try something new,” Gearóid O Doherty, the Coordinator of Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership said.
“Urban Orienteering is an activity that you can do on your own or with your family and friends. You get to challenge yourself a little and still go at a pace that suits you – and what a beautiful location to do it all in, Killarney town!
“With many people possibly new to the Kerry region, be that through work, college or otherwise, this is an ideal way to get involved in the community and explore the streets and lanes of Killarney in a fun and active way.”
The Kerry Orienteers Club have designed the courses for this event and are looking forward to the excitement of it all and helping those new to the sport to continue taking part in the months and years that follow.
“We know that, for a lot of people, this will be their first time trying orienteering, but they can rest assured, as we will be there to talk them through it and help them out if needed,” Brendan O’Brien from Kerry Orienteers said.
“If it is something they want to try again, we can signpost them to other events, both locally here in Kerry and indeed nationally. Orienteering is a fantastic sport that allows you to build your skills and confidence, with all events having a variety of routes to cater for all levels.”
To cater for physical distancing and government guidelines, there are several staggered start times for participants to choose from, beginning at 6pm and the last group heading off at 7.30pm. With free t-shirts for all who sign up and additional workshops onsite, from the likes of Leave No Trace Ireland, it is sure to be a fun and vibrant evening, all stemming from the start point at ANAM – Killarney’s Arts and Culture Centre.
Places are limited for this event. Free online registration is available and those looking to attend are encouraged to book their place early to avoid disappointment.
For more information, you can visit any of the Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership social media accounts or go to www.sportireland.ie.
Local soprano releases new single
Local soprano Mary Culloty O’Sullivan has released her second self-penned single. Following the success of her debut song ‘Forever and...
Fun Urban Orienteering event coming to Killarney town
The event is free, open to all ages, levels of fitness and is both wheelchair and buggy friendly.Kerry Recreation and...
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